MoCo BOE OK’s Funds for County Agent
The Montgomery County Board of Education approved funding for the reinstatement of the Montgomery County UGA Extension Agent, who will oversee both the Youth 4-H Programs and the agricultural responsibility of the role.
The School System will contribute $10,000, plus employee inclusion in the Teacher Retirement System, which totals $11,981; the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners will also contribute to $10,000 to the salary of the agent, and the University of Georgia Extension Agency will fund the remainder of the salary.
This combined funding effort occurs after the loss of the County Agent four years ago, when the previous agent resigned and there was no available funding to hire another. After discovering the divided funding system of Jenkins County for the extension agent, Montgomery County Manager Brandon Braddy contacted the three parties to see if the same option was available for Montgomery County. “We have so many students involved in 4-H in this area, as well as a high agricultural population,” Braddy commented. “I believe the presence of a county agent would be highly beneficial to our county.” Braddy proposed the option to the BOE at the monthly work session on March 17, alongside UGA Southeast District County Agent Coordinator Cheryl Poppell. The pair explained the benefits of having the resource, specifically in regard to the 4-H program within the county. “I truly believe that when you have to share a county agent between two counties, the quality of the service is diminished because it is very difficult to keep up with two separate areas,” Poppell explained. “The value of having your own agent, especially in a county with as big a 4-H participation population as Montgomery County, is substantial.” The pair also shared their appreciation for Senator Blake Tillery (R-17, Vidalia) and Representative Leesa Hagan (R-156, Vidalia) for their help in getting the funding approved for the remainder of the county extension agent’s salary. Board members unanimously passed this motion, which makes the agent position open for applications upon approval by the Board of Commissioners. The UGA Extension Office will review applications and present qualified individuals to the Board of Commissioners. Once a finalist is chosen, that individual will be presented to the BOE for approval.
Board members also approved several personnel changes at the conclusion of the monthly meeting on March 21.
The decision to employ Tracy McNeal was rescinded because of McNeal’s acceptance of employment at another school system. Resignations were accepted for Eagle Academy Elementary Teacher Karen Walker and Elementary School Teacher Keaundra Snead. These resignations are effective at the conclusion of this school year.
Montgomery County Elementary School Teacher Amber Durrence will transfer to the Eagle Academy for the 2022-2023 school year, and Amanda McCoy will transition from teaching at Eagle Academy to the Elementary School.
Brendan Earles and Brittany Galbreath were hired as substitute teachers, while other hires included: Allison Harrell as an elementary school teacher, Kimethia Robinson as the high school secretary, Matt Parker as a high school special education teacher, Nikki Perry as an elementary and middle/high school physical education teacher, Dr. Mark Davidson as Director of Attendance at 20%, and Laverne Mobley as school psychologist at 49%.
The Board agreed to post the following positions: one Middle School and one High School Agriculture Teacher, as well as two new positions: Assistant Superintendent/ Director of Facilities, Human Resources, Safety, and CTAE, and a security video monitor at the board office. Other positions currently open for the school include: 4 special education teachers, one middle school gifted certified educator, two elementary school teachers, an adapted curriculum special education teacher, and a high school football head coach. Any individuals with experience coaching athletics that are also qualified for teaching positions are encouraged to apply.
The extracurricular supplements for the staff members who help facilitate sports and other activities for students were unanimously approved by the Board. Student achievement was highlighted, as the Board recognized the students who participated and excelled in Lady Eagles Varsity Basketball and Spelling Bee, as well as 2022 Valedictorian Jacob Carpenter and Salutatorian India Cummings.
Eagle Academy is planning its second year of operation with the feedback from parents, students, and teachers guiding administrators on the highlights of the unique school option. Plans are also being made to expand activities for gifted students who do not choose to attend Eagle Academy.